128. To the Stars Through Difficulty: Lora Jost

In 1918 Kansas farmers, Mennonites, against all war
Are visited by vigilantes for refusing to buy war bonds.
They are tarred and feathered, beards painted yellow, phone lines cut
Buggies burned, houses ransacked. They are stripped, whipped, shown a noose.
When the farmers are too frightened to refuse, they buy Liberty Bonds (for democracy!)

In 1918 South Dakota farmers, Hutterites, against all war, are conscripted and
Sent to a military training camp, refuse to wear uniforms or work for war. They
Are taunted, their train car stormed, beards shorn. Court-martialed, sent to Alcatraz
Starved, naked, concrete floor, transferred to Fort Leavenworth. Pneumonia, two die.
When a wife asks to see her husband’s body, guards have dressed him (in a military uniform!)

— Lora Jost


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